Testosterone is the fuel behind a man’s sex drive. What happens when your testosterone level drops? For many men, erectile dysfunction is an unfortunate side effect of having low testosterone. After all, having an erection is dependent on having adequate testosterone levels.
Erectile dysfunction is a harsh reality for many men before they reach their 40s. It’s not your fault, you just need to get your testosterone up. Here’s how.
What is Testosterone?
Before discussing how to get your testosterone up, let’s find out precisely what testosterone is and why it is essential.
Testosterone is a hormone that, for men, is produced in the testicles. In women, it is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Essential in the development of male growth and masculine characteristics, testosterone is a critical hormone in male development.
Also, testosterone is vital in the development and maintenance of:
- Muscle and bone mass
- Facial and pubic hair
- Sex drive
- Deeper voice
- Thinking abilities
In adolescence and early adulthood, the production of testosterone increases approximately 30 times. However, after early adulthood, the levels will naturally start to decline.
Is My Testosterone Low?
So, how do you know if your testosterone is low? Several symptoms can signal low testosterone levels (or low T). The most apparent sign is chronic fatigue. Since testosterone spikes in the morning, a low T will really impact you later in the afternoon.
Some other common symptoms include a marked decrease in sexual drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), difficulty orgasming, lack of focus, depression, and muscle loss. If you have experienced ED for at least three months, you should speak with your doctor.
Who is Testosterone Replacement Therapy for?
A doctor can tell you if your testosterone is indeed low through some blood work. Also, they can help diagnose any underlying conditions that could be causing your erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.
Usually, the doctor will run a test that will look for the levels of total testosterone, free testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin. Prolactin can actually decrease testosterone levels. If your testosterone levels come back below 250 – 300ng/dL, your doctor may consider placing you on testosterone replacement therapy. These tests should be run in the morning when your levels are at their highest.
If your testosterone level is low, replacement therapy can be beneficial for you. Your doctor can also help you determine the proper levels of hormone replacement and what method of treatment is best for your specific health condition.
While under treatment, proper nutrition and exercise are necessary to maintain proper health and ensure the effectiveness of your treatment. Be sure to adhere to all instructions from your doctor, including monitoring and follow-up appointments.
While some men may want to jump directly to medication for their ED, others see testosterone therapy as a preferred first method of treatment. After all, you will not have to worry about taking a pill when anticipating a sexual encounter. Also, many will see other added benefits such as increased sexual desire when undergoing testosterone therapy.
There are multiple forms of prescription testosterone therapy. Your doctor will help you determine what works best for you.
Skin patches are typically applied once a day. They are worn on the arm or somewhere on the upper body.
Gels come in packs of clear testosterone gel. When applied, the gel is absorbed through the skin. Some also come in a pump, which delivers the amount of testosterone prescribed for you. Some gels can also be applied inside of the nose.
Mount patches are designed to stick to the upper guns above your incisors. These are applied twice a day and delivers testosterone through the oral tissue into the bloodstream.
Injections will deliver testosterone directly into the muscle. Testosterone will then slowly absorb into the bloodstream.
So, why all of the patches, gels, and shots, and why are there no pills? While oral treatment is available, there is some belief that oral therapy can negatively impact the liver. Meanwhile, the other therapy methods will bypass the liver, entering the bloodstream directly.
Natural Ways to Get Your Testosterone Up
If you are looking for a natural, non-prescription way to get your testosterone up, there are plenty of options. As always, be sure to talk to your doctor about these options to make sure there are no concerns or potential issues with your specific health.
While using foods, vitamins, and herbs to help boost your testosterone, there is currently no proof that they are as or more effective as a prescription treatment. However, if you choose to try alternative therapies, the following may help!
- Vitamin D
- Malaysian ginseng
- Saw palmetto
Testosterone Therapy Risks
While testosterone therapy may be just the thing you need, it is always essential to evaluate the potential risks and side effects.
The different methods of prescription therapy each come with their own side effects. For instance, the patches can possibly irritate the skin, while mood swings can potentially come with intramuscular injections.
The potential side effects of testosterone therapy include:
- Increased urination
- Fluid retention
- Breast enlargement
- Decreased sperm count
- Worsened sleep apnea
If you are currently battling prostate or breast cancer, testosterone treatment is not recommended.
Get Your Testosterone Up
While it can be embarrassing to deal with low testosterone and erectile dysfunction, you should know that many men deal with the same thing. With your doctor on your side, you can find the right testosterone hormone replacement therapy for you and have your testosterone up in no time.
Want to learn more? Request a consultation today and take your first step towards higher testosterone levels.